The formula. Let's look at a specific genre of horror movie. I'm not sure of the name but there are enough out there to merit a genre subset. Teenagers, it always involves teenagers or college students, are on their way some place with or without friends and family and they get lost or take an ill advised shortcut. Their vehicle breaks down or they get pulled over and then all but one or two are killed by inbreeds, hicks, or unstoppable evil forces, occasionally it's all of the above.
The bad guy usually gets away, or there happened to be many unknown, which leads us to...
Crappy wannabe cliffhangers. Some movies are so epic they're entitled sequels simply to encompass the massive scope of the characters and world. Others well, I imagine there's a machine with "Sequel-O-Matic" printed on the side, manufactured by Acme. No matter what script it churns out, the requisite is a cliffhanger the-bad-guy-gets-away ending... Oh, and it only produces scripts and story lines inked in shit and printed on toilet paper. Remember what happened to Wiley Coyote every time he bought something from Acme.
The supermodel main characters. Don't get me wrong, I love beautiful women and have nothing against male underwear models, but it's pretty much guaranteed that if you're an attractive person in a horror movie, you're going to die. Apparently only ugly people decide to pick up knives, hoes, axes, or chainsaws to bring pain and suffering to their fellow man.
This scene is before Sloth tortures Chunk.
Less is more when it comes to attire
Since there are beautiful people all over, why not help some sweaty palmed awkward teenager viewers toss one off? Because it completely fucks with real life. So the teens who were going camping in the middle of nowhere, presumably not for the first time, all decided to wear next to no clothing, flip flops, and high heels. The hell with that, when I go camping I have boots, jeans, and maybe even long sleeves and a jacket. I'm also with someone who has a gun and if I hear weird noises I run.
Gore over story. I liked Hostel. Generally I hate horror movies because they have no substance. I liked Hostel because it told a story I've heard so many times before but made it more personal and intriguing. I liked Saw for the same reason. What I don't like is the sequels. It seems that at the end of the day, somebody said "Thank goodness we wrote a good story for the first installment. Now we can just mindlessly display gore and rake in the cash." It's like the underwear gnome business model in South Park. "1. Show gore. 3. Make money." Where the hell is the "Tell Story" step between the gore and money?
Horror porn. Generally I can give a few gore allowances in movies. So the director thinks my mind can't visualize what it looks like to sever a head, fine show me. Now it's when a director thinks I actually want to see what it looks like to cut somebody in two with a chainsaw, or that I want to see what it looks like to have an arm cut off over and over, that I take issue. Who the hell are these appealing to? Maybe there are a passel of Se7en's Kevin Spacey's who masturbate in their own feces while reading Guns and Ammo, that have to see gallons of blood and innards before they can comfortably go to sleep at night. This is certainly not me.
A bound and bloody Elisha Cuthbert doesn't sell me a movie quite like a naked one.
PG-13 theatrical release and then an unrated DVD. I have to ask, where is the artistic integrity in Hollywood? I understand that likely it was never there, but if you shoot a movie one way and only cut scenes if there is a congruity issue with the story as a whole, then the movie should be complete. Why the hell are there movies being shot one way, and then cut down to bare bones to release to a wider audience? It's like eating a piece of cake and deciding you don't need the frosting just yet, you'll eat it later. It might still be good cake but for me the frosting makes the cake.
Punishment for loose morals. Smoke cigarettes or drink? That's a stabbin'. Have premarital sex? That's a stabbin'. Do drugs? Oh, you better believe that's a stabbin'.
Unstoppable hacker slasher. He walks with a machete, walks, and nobody can seem to get their keys in the ignition fast enough to say, "That wasn't even close." I guess I've never had Jason walking after me, so I can't say for sure if I'd have problems starting my car like I do every day. Let's say you can't get your car started, you can still run. Run and find a legion of goth kids to slow him down, they want to die anyway, and at least one of them has a gun or knows how to make a bomb.
Remake after remake. This speaks for itself, there are no original horror movies.